The first installment, which is currently in development, will center around the Menendez murder case.
“We’ve been talking with Dick about how to create an event series coming out of the ‘Law & Order’ ripped-from-the-headlines brand. This case captured the public’s attention like nothing before it as it examined taboo issues such as patricide and matricide in gruesome detail, all against a backdrop of privilege and wealth,” said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment. “We will re-create the cultural and societal surroundings of both the murders and trials when people were not only obsessed with the case but examining how and why these brothers committed these heinous crimes.”
The Menendez brothers were the center of one of the most high-profile American murder cases. In 1989, wealthy Beverly Hills siblings Lyle and Erik Menendez killed their parents and were convicted after two trials. The brothers were the subject of a miniseries back in 1994 for CBS. NBC is planning eight episodes for the first installment of the anthology, which will be called “Law & Order: True Crime — The Menendez Brothers Murders.”
The announcement that NBC is putting a true-crime anthology into development comes the day after FX’s “People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” wrapped. That true-crime anthology series hails from Ryan Murphy. NBC is the second broadcast network to jump into the anthology format, as ABC recently aired the second season of “American Crime” from John Ridley. The true crime genre has been hot lately, following HBO’s “The Jinx” and Netflix’s “Making a Murderer.”
Should the anthology be greenlit, Dick Wolf, who already successfully occupies much of NBC’s slate, will have six projects with the Peacock. Already on the air is the long-running “Law & Order: SVU,” which was renewed for Season 18, plus the “Chicago” franchise, which has been renewed across the boards. Wolf also has a fourth “Chicago” installment in the works with a legal version in “Chicago Law.” The mega-producer recently inked a major five-year deal with NBCUniversal, which will keep him with the network through 2020.